The UPP triumphantly celebrated the first class to graduate from the program in the End-of-Year ceremony in honor of the students completion of the program. The ceremony was held in the King Faisal Foundation’s auditorium at 9.00pm on Sunday, June 22, 2008 which was attended by students and their parents alike to commemorate their achievements.
The event was attended by HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal, HRH Mohammed bin Khalid bin Abdullah Al Faisal, HH Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid Al Saud, Dr. John Aydelott, Director of the UPP and faculty, Dr. Alan Goodridge, Acting President and Provost of Alfaisal University along with Alfaisal leadership, Deans of colleges from the university, and graduating students and their parents. The ceremony began with Quranic recital by UPP student Abdullah Al-Shammari and a speech by the UPP Student Association President, Faisal Al-Rasheed.
Speaking as special guest at the ceremony was HRH Mohammed bin Khalid bin Abdullah Al Faisal, the President & CEO of Al Faisaliah Group Holding, a leading Saudi Investment Company. Prince Mohammed is the President of the Harvard Alumni Association in Saudi Arabia, a member of the General Assembly of King Faisal Foundation, and active in both the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Young Arab Leaders. In his speech Prince Mohammed spoke to the students and reminded the students of the road that lies ahead “Although I am sure you know it, I have an obligation to remind you that this is just the first step on a long journey, as Winston Churchill once said; this only the end of the beginning.” Prince Mohammed was able to engage with the graduating students as he too was once a part of a preparatory program for his University in KFUPM in 1985. Prince Mohammed stressed to the graduating students the “end-game”, saying “In short, a degree is just one step towards preparing you for life. It is never a guarantee, but it helps, if you do it right.” The prince provided a blanket of security for the students in regards to university life stating that “the good news is that through the UPP you are better equipped than others to deal with it.” Prince Mohammed offered sagacious words of wisdom for the students saying “My first advice to you is that college is a test case for life, how you handle your transition will give you the necessary skills that will be needed later in life.
Dr. John Aydelott, Director of the UPP, said, “All of us in the UPP are very proud of our program and the achievements of our students this year. The end-of-year ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the success of our students and faculty and to let everyone know that we consider this year a remarkable success. We’re all looking forward to this important event marking the end of one stage and the beginning of the next stage in the educational process of our students.” Dr. Aydelott presented students with completion certificates at the ceremony. Another highlight of the ceremony was the recognition of students who have academic awards.
The UPP End-of-Year ceremony marked yet another milestone in the short history of the program. Saphia Ikram Spokesperson for Alfaisal University stated at the event that “this is a time for us to feel proud of what these young men have achieved, and we look forward to furthering their achievements as they join us this fall. We believe we are a world class institution that only delivers world class education to produce world class leaders in the fields of Medicine, Engineering, Business and Science & General Studies. We at Alfaisal University are all dedicated to inspiring a new age of educational achievement in the kingdom.”